Monday, March 22, 2010

Journal, 3/22/10

Reading: Joshua 12-14, 1 Corinthians 7.


Joshua 14:12: Now then, give me this hill country about which the LORD spoke on that day, for you heard on that day that Anakim were there, with great fortified cities; perhaps the LORD will be with me, and I will drive them out as the LORD has spoken.

Numbers 13:22: “When they had gone up into the Negev, they came to Hebron where Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai, the descendants of Anak were.

Numbers 13:28: “Nevertheless, the people who live in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large; and moreover, we saw the descendants of Anak there.”

Numbers 13:30-31: “Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, ‘We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it.’ But the men who had gone up with him said, ‘We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us.’”


Here is the conclusion of the story of Caleb. He was courageous when he and Joshua and the ten others went to spy out the land. Only he and Joshua were willing to go and take the land, and Caleb was the strongest spokesman for this action. Now, at the end of the conquest of the land, Caleb wants to take care of some unfinished business.

It seems that the Anakim were the main reason why the other ten spies did not want to take the land. Now, while most of the conquest has been completed, Caleb notices that they still have not taken care of the Anakim. So he goes to Joshua to ask if he can go and take them on.

At this point, Caleb is 85 years old. When he was 40, he was brave enough to go and face them. His words were, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it.” Now his words are, “Perhaps the LORD will be with me, and I will drive them out as the LORD has spoken.”

This is not simply Caleb deciding to follow an impulse. This is not simply about him getting an inheritance for his family. This is about the LORD’s honor, but it is also about something else. Back in Numbers 13 Caleb said that there would be no problem with conquering the territory of the Anakim. After all, the LORD had told them that they would succeed in this quest. If God said that they would conquer, surely they would. Caleb showed simple, courageous faith. Fear did not enter into the picture because he believed God. What other option was there than to believe him and do what he said?

Now Caleb still believes! When he says, “Perhaps the LORD will be with me, and I will drive them out,” it sounds like he is uncertain. It sounds like he is saying that it is worth trying because it might be God’s will. It just doesn’t seem like this can be the case, though, because of what he says next. He ends the sentence by saying, “as the LORD has spoken.” The LORD said that he was going to drive these people out, and that they would not be able to stand against Israel, so why not go up and take care of it.


Simple faith allowed Caleb to act courageously. He was brave back in Numbers 13, and, although the cowardice of the others led to the wandering in the wilderness, God preserved Caleb as a reward. Now, 45 years later it is very simple: Caleb still believes God. So, why not go and take care of that unfinished business of the Anakim?

I want to live by this simple faith. I want to speak the truth in love and in courage. Caleb had no fear of the bigger, younger, and more powerful Anakim because he believed God. In all of the different meetings and interactions I have this week, I want to speak the truth without fear. Fear keeps me from the best thing that God has for me, and it also keeps me from being his servant to others, truly to benefit them.


Father, empower me to live courageously because I fear you and believe you. When I am afraid, I will trust in you. You are the creator and redeemer of the world. Death could not contain the Lord Jesus Christ, and now I serve the Lord of lords. What can man do to me? Empower me to speak truth with conviction and with compassion. Caleb never made it about exalting himself. He had a simple faith in you. I want to trust you in that way. When I am afraid or arrogant or despondent, remind me of who you are. Come to me and guide me when fear and unbelief take over. Empower me to live by simple faith in a profoundly good and powerful God.


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